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Dragon Boat Festival

Duanwu Festival also known as Dragon Boat Festival, the festival occurs on the 5th day of the 5th month of the lunar calendar on which the Chinese calendar is based. This is the source of the alternative name of Double Fifth.The focus of the celebrations includes eating the rice dumpling zongzi, drinking realgar wine xionghuangjiu and racing dragon boats. down either to show the lion's roar or its native charm to the strong rhythm of gongs and drums.

The Duanwu Festival is believed to have originated in ancient China.

A number of theories exist about its origins as a number of folk traditions and explanatory myths are connected to its observance. Today the best known of these relates to the suicide in 278 BCE of Qu Yuan, poet and statesman of the Chu kingdom during the Warring States period.

In Guangzhou, local people keep a celebration for over 100 years. Since the beginning of the month, the villages hold celebration in turn, with other villages' dragon boats visiting the host village for greeting. The host village will held grand banquet for all the visitors. More visitors means more luck and blessing to the host village. It is named "Dragon Boat Banquet".

Qu Yuan

Quyuan was a famous poet who was concerned about the fate of the Chu kingdom during the Warring States period. unfortunately his stature aroused the jealousy of the king, who banished him to a remote area. The poet despaired of the government and its policies. When the state's capital was captured by enemies, he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Miluo River (on May 5th according to the Chinese lunar calendar). The Chinese people felt this loss deeply, as he was a much beloved poet. Local folk searched for him in the river, meanwhile dropping dumplings of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves into the river in order to keep the fishes from attacking Qu Yuan's body.

Zongzi

The main ingredient of Zong Zi is the glutinous rice. The next most important ingredient is the bamboo or reed leaves which form the wrapping and make Zong Zi distinct from other types of Chinese dumplings. The filling often contains either dates or sweetened red bean paste.

A recipe for Zong Zi:

For making 10 dumplings

1. 50 sheets of bamboo or reed leaves

2. Glutinous rice (1 kilogram)

3. Chinese dates (250 grams)

Directions:

1.Soak the rice and the dates 12 hours or more till they are soaked thoroughly.

2.Wash the leaves.

3.A chopping board is necessary for laying out the leaves.

4.Fold the leaves flat at the leafstalk to make a sheet.

5.Hold the sheet, fold it round in the middle and make a funnel till both ends are laid over each other in one direction.

6.Use about 1/10 kg. of rice and 6 dates for each dumpling. The dates must be covered by the rice so that they won't lose too much syrup in cooking.

7.Fold the leaves up to seal the open side of the funnel and tie the bundle with a band made of twisted leaves. Make sure that the bundle is tied neither too tight nor too loose. This helps make sure that the ingredients are well cooked.

8.Put the dumplings in a pot, cover with water and make sure they are pressed and kept still while being boiled.

9.Cooking time: 40 minutes in a pressure cooker; 2 hours in an ordinary pot.

 

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